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D.C. Third of the Way to Ending Veteran Homelessness as More Housing is Planned

  |  November 7, 2014
From DCist

D.C. is roughly a third of the way to ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015, as Mayor Vincent Gray is preparing to break ground on more housing next week.

The Veterans NOW initiative — a collaboration between service providers, community leaders, and government agencies, both local and federal — officially launched in February of this year, with approximately 531 veterans placed in permanent housing between August 2013 and August 2014. (More recent numbers were not immediately available.)

That is roughly one third of the estimated 1,625 homeless veterans (500 chronically, 1,125 non-chronically) that needed housing as of August 2013. That’s more than one placement per day. The 2014 point-in-time count put the number of homeless veterans in D.C. at 408.

Gray, with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, will break ground Monday on a 124-unit mixed income building in NoMa. The building, funded privately and publicly, will feature 60 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans, 47 units “prioritized” for households making no more than 60 percent of the Area Media Income ($45,120 for an individual in 2013) and 17 for households making no more than 30 percent of the AMI.

The permanent supportive housing units at the John and Jill Ker Conway Residence, according to a spokesperson for the non-profit Community Solutions, will be fully furnished by A Wider Circle. The building, a collaboration between Community Solutions and development firm McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc., is expected to be completed in December 2015.

D.C. will also participate in Community Solutions’s Zero: 2016 campaign to end veteran and chronic homelessness by December 2015 and 2016, respectively. Formally launching in January 2015, D.C. “will seek to accelerate [its] housing efforts through four key 
areas of work: closing the research-to-practice gap, real-time data and performance 
management, local systems redesign and local leadership development.”